RMC SPORT DOCUMENT – In early March, the Paris Criminal Court sentenced Ahmed G., a former Ligue 1 recruiter and coach in the Paris region, to 18 years in prison for rape and sexual assault. Nine young soccer players accused him of acts committed between 2003 and 2018. For the first time, another alleged victim of this former recruiter speaks at RMC Sport. This 25-year-old has never brought this story to justice.
“I wanted to forget that night.” Guillaume*’s words are strong. At 25 years old, the former soccer player speaks for the first time about a scene that changed his life. After reading articles about the case concerning Ahmed G., at the beginning of March, Guillaume decided to break the silence and give his first words to RMC Sport. “I wanted to put this story behind me,” describes former INF Clairefontaine. When I quit football, I cut everything. Suddenly, I told myself that before it was my life. Now that I have built myself as a man, I can do this interview. When I read the articles, I was shocked, it brought back memories and emotions.”
The case that follows has never been brought to the attention of French justice. When Ahmed G. was sentenced in the first instance in early March, Guillaume was not one of the victims. The former player from Bussy-Saint-Georges remembers all the details of that night that changed his life. At the age of 11, Guillaume moved to Auxerre for an internship with the Ligue 1 club at the time. To accompany you in this detection, Ahmed G., recruiter for various professional clubs (Angers SCO, FC Nantes or even AJ Auxerre) in the Paris region.
An internship at AJ Auxerre to start
During a first match against Ahmed G.’s amateur club, Guillaume sees the FC Nantes recruiter present himself at the end of the match in front of his parents, handing over an official paper from the professional club. “We knew that Ahmed was someone who knew people in the world of football,” Guillaume confesses. The first approach was very factual. I had a good game, he came to see me. There was nothing strange at that time. And it started like… He told me to come to his club Bussy-Saint-Georges which could be a good springboard to sign for a Ligue 1 club.
As the months go by, Ahmed G. gets closer to the young player. “I came to see my parents quite regularly, explains Guillaume. He had promised my parents that he would take me to a detection course at AJ Auxerre (club in which he was also a recruiter, editor’s note). July, both by car, we took the highway for this course. In hindsight, I remember all the details of the route. Along the way, I had avoided the highway to go through small country roads.”
Guillaume describes the influence of Ahmed G. on several players in the amateur club. The same technique that he explained during the trial in March. In the course of the investigation, the police traced the life of the accused and discovered several messages addressed to other young people. The same process is used for all victims of it. The man spots his “prey”, introduces himself as a recruiter from a large training center (which was true in some cases) and quickly establishes a relationship of trust with the young players.
“During the two weeks in Auxerre, he was very close to me, explains Guillaume. He gave me hugs and kisses. He was a bit like my father, he could buy me whatever he wanted, like sweets and crampons.” At 11 years old, the young soccer fan does not immediately understand the technician’s grasp. The latter tries to mentally condition the child: “An important element, in the car, he liked to remind me that my parents did not have much money. And that he was the only one who could get my family out of trouble.” thanks to football.
“It was rubbing against me”
The two weeks of training are going very well for Guillaume. On the last day he got into Ahmed G.’s car to return to the Paris region. Except that the trip will not go smoothly. Around 8 pm, halfway through the route, the former technician considers that it is too late to return to Paris, the car stops at a hotel. Ahmed G. asks Guillaume to stay in the car while he goes to reception to find out if there are two rooms available. “He asked me to stay out of the hotel. When he came back, he told me that there was only one free room with a double bed. At that time, I didn’t suspect a thing about myself and I accepted,” says Guillaume.
“When I go to bed, that’s when it starts,” describes the 25-year-old. He climbed on top of me, rubbing against me. I was on my back and during this scene he would say phrases like ‘Don’t worry, you’re super strong, you’ll sign in Auxerre and I’ll take you to Nantes. Your parents will have big bonuses.’ Meanwhile, he kisses me, this act will last 30 seconds. “
At 11, Guillaume finds the strength to fight his attacker: “I turned around and that’s when he put his hand on my parts. It made me react and then I yelled: ‘Ahmed, stop'”. In the minutes that follow, Guillaume takes refuge in the bathroom of his hotel room. Minutes that he describes as a “black hole” before going back to bed. The rest of the night will pass “normally”. The next morning, the two men “went like it was nothing.” At that point, Guillaume admits to “feeling ashamed.” After two weeks of interning, “I just wanted to erase this night from my brain to continue with my ambitions and dreams,” he says. Subsequently, Guillaume, without notifying his parents, was placed under the orders of Ahmed G. in his football club. Although, with the permanent presence of his father, the coach no longer tried anything with the young man.
“I bear witness so that this word may be released”
Speaking thirteen years after the events is not easy for Guillaume. His target of him? Break the silence to inspire other victims to tell their stories. The victims’ lawyers during the trial recalled that several other young soccer players could have been attacked by Ahmed G. “Declaring today is a personal decision. I am testifying to release this word,” says Guillaume. It is a taboo to speak in the world. of sport. These words can go astray in the minds of young people. It can also mean that you are not strong enough and therefore you have suffered things. Actually, it is the fact of being able to speak that is strong.”
In court, and after several years of investigation, nine young soccer players told their stories. Guillaume never took his story to court. For thirteen years, the young man built himself. “Being able to talk about it now he set me free. I stopped feeling guilty. It also gives an excuse for my discomfort at some training centers afterwards. Maybe he mistrusted the coaches… He played straight.”
In thirteen years, Guillaume had never had the strength to testify in front of his parents. The young man spoke for the first time two weeks ago in front of his mother and his father. “They were sad and angry. Sad that they could trust this person and angry, not at me, but just finding out now.” Guillaume admits that his father had had doubts five years ago when the story broke in the press. To his questions, the former footballer had limited himself to answering “no”.
In this case, which therefore does not concern Guillaume*, the Advocate General had requested 15 years in prison. Therefore, the juries of the Criminal Court of Paris made an even more important decision by sentencing the former recruiter to 18 years in prison. Ahmed G. has since appealed and a new trial will be held. The former recruiter was accused of “rape and sexual assault by a person in authority” to minors under 15 years of age and attempt, “sexual proposals by electronic means” and “corruption of minors”.
*Name has been changed